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Internet usage on the increase across Europe

The use of the Internet by the average European has increased by 11% since 2005, according to new research by the European Interactive Advertising Association.

The comprehensive study, gauging the way 7,000 Europeans spent their time on the Internet, shows users logged on for 11 hours and 20 minutes a week, compared with 10 hours and 15 minutes a week in 2005.

According to the research, social networking and establishing personal connections on the Internet would continue to drive internet growth as the medium becomes a more ingrained part of the consumer's lifestyle.

Michael Kleindl, chairman of the EIAA and managing partner of Valkiria Network, said: "The effectiveness of the Internet as a channel for engaging and connecting with consumers has never been more evident than after reviewing the trends highlighted in this survey.

"As the Internet continues to mature and adapt to consumer lifestyles, it will continue to be an integral part of our everyday lives."

The research found 45% of internet users in Europe log on each day of the week, mainly to download music, make telephone calls or participate in social networking activities.

Nearly a quarter of users visited social networking websites at least one a month, with 32% of those aged between 16 and 24.

According to the report, Europeans spend 72% of their online time for personal reasons and 28% of their time online for work. Currently, the Spanish and German markets lead in the use of online forums with 36% and 31% respectively interacting with those sites at least once a month.

When asked to choose one medium that best suited their needs to access content quickly, 47% of people chose the Internet.

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